Federal sentencing guidelines are typically harsher than comparable state guidelines. I would need additional information to provide a more specific answer.
CHRISTOPHER BOKAS, ESQ.
20 West 3rd Street
Media, PA 19063
Federal sentencing determinations are quite compllicated and only considerable familiarity with the case would enable an attorney to estimate a potential range of sentence. Even then, it would be an educated guess and nothing more. Even if there were a plea agreement with the Government committed to recommend a specific sentence, the judge is under no obligation to follow it.
You should not even dream of facing a federal charge with an attorney who knows federal criminal defense practice. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney the court will appoint one for you. Lawyers on the federal appointment lists are generally highly capable and experienced.
It sounds like you were charged with harboring your son from arrest on a probation violation or some new offense. If, as you say, you were unaware that he was wanted, you cannot be convicted of harboring. The statute requires that you concealed someone from arrest "after notice or knowledge of the fact that a warrant or process has been issued for the apprehension of such person." But presumably when you spoke to the federal agent, you learned the actual situation, but have been charged with lying to him. The sentencing guideline for harboring depends on the offense for which your son was wanted and on your prior record. If you have no prior record and the offense for your son is a serious one, you would be looking at about 3 years. This is only an advisory guideline, however. The judge can go below this based on a number of factors, such as that it is a natural instinct for a parent to try to protect their son. You should get a federal criminal defense lawyer if you don't already have one.
This answer is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended as the practice of law in any jurisdiction in which I am not licensed. The answer does not constitute legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. The answer is based only on the information provided, and may be inaccurate in the context of additional facts that have not been provided. The questioner should be aware that I am only licensed to practice law in the state and federal courts of Minnesota. Accordingly, before taking any action or refraining from taking any action, the questioner should consult with an attorney licensed to practice in his or her jurisdiction.
You could face time for the described offenses. Probation is also possible, but do not make the mistake that many do and fail to defend yourself. Often, defendants get surprised at sentencing and receive jail tim when they and their attorney expect probation. Federal sentencing can be harsh and it will take an experienced attorney considerable time to competantly prepare your defense. Do not assume that you must plead guilty either. Look for an attorney that has experience in federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. It is hard to condemn a parent for protecting their child, get an attorney and get serious.
Evan Hughes, Esquire
You have to have known that your son was a fugitive to be charged with harboring, although the basis for the false statement charge is unclear. I recommend that you retain a federal criminal defense attorney immediately, if you have not done so already.
Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.
NATIONAL FEDERAL DEFENSE GROUP